2012 Volvo XC90

The 2012 Volvo XC90 is a luxury midsize crossover that offers a seating capacity for up to 7 people using 3 rows. This SUV comes with passenger oriented design, offering more comfort, space, and safety over off-road ability.

However for 2012, Volvo is not offering a V8 engine, but the number of trim levels have expanded after the addition of Platinum and Premier Plus trims.


General Info
Vehicle Type: SUV Base Price: $39,500.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.1 gallons (80l) MPG: 16 city / 23 hwy
Length: 189.3 in. (480.8 cm) Wheel Base: 112.6 in. (286 cm)
Height: 70.2 in. (178.3 cm) Width: 74.7 in. (189.7 cm)
Curb Weight: 4751 lbs (2155 kg) Ground Clearance: 8.6 in. (21.8 cm)
Cargo Capacity: 8.8 cu ft w/ all seats Maximum Seating: 7 people
Engine: 24 Valve Inline-6 DOHC Displacement: 3.2 Liter
Horsepower: 240 HP Max RPM: 6200 RPM
Torque: 236 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 5000 lbs (2268 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:R Design MSRP: $42,300; MPG: 16 city / 23 hwy

Engine & Performance

All 2012 XC90 models are equipped with a 3.2L inline 6-cylinder drive train that makes 240 hp and 236 lbs-ft of torque. All models will also come with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. In addition to that, front wheel drive is offered as standard, although customers can choose the available AWD system offered as an option.

The R-design model comes with a sport-tuned suspension with thicker rear and front stabilizer bars and firmer struts and springs. It can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, getting 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. The XC90 handles very well and offers a smooth ride which is relatively composed on most roads.


There two main trim levels: 3.2 and the R-design. These trims are further offered in 3 sub-trim levels: base, Premier Plus and Platinum. The base trim come with standard features that include: fog lamps, 18-inch-alloy wheels, sunroof, heated mirrors, and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, roof rails and rear privacy glass.

Stepping up to the midrange Premier Plus trim, you get extra features like a rearview mirror with integrated compass and adaptive bi-xenon headlights. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line Platinum comes with a rearview camera plus other features found in the Premier Plus.

The 3.2 R-Design sub-trims are identical, coming with 20-inch alloy wheels; sport tuned suspension, self-leveling rear suspension, adaptive bi-xenon headlights and distinctive exterior styling touches.


The XC90 can comfortably accommodate 7 people in its 3-row seats, although the third row is suitable for smaller people, including children. Despite the fact that the rear seats are cramped, they are offered in an integrated cushion, allowing the occupants to sit high enough for seatbelt and head restraint to provide proper protection.

The base model comes with standard power driver’s seat with memory, as well as power front passenger’s seat. The base model is well equipped with high-tech features, despite its low base price. These include: air conditioning vents and controls for the third-row, tilt and telescoping steering wheel that houses audio and cruise controls, power glass sunroof, automatic climate control, USB/ iPod interface, HD radio and Bluetooth.

Optional features are: heated front seats, Volvo premium sound system, integrated navigation system and interior air filter. This crossover has a remarkable cargo space of 85.1 cubic feet when the second and third rows are folded.

Safety & Reliability

There are many standard safety features included in the 2012 XC90, these are: stability control, antilock brakes, 4-wheel ABS, rollover protection system, child safety locks, electronic stability control, integrated turn signal mirrors, driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags, rear head airbag and side head airbags.

The XC90 is covered by a 5-year or 50,000 miles limited warranty, in addition to the 60,000-mile or 5-year wear-and-tear warranty. Owners will also benefit from 5-year road assistance as well as complimentary scheduled factory maintenance.


  • Standard third row
  • Smooth ride
  • Comfortable front seats
  • Large cargo capacity


  • Poor fuel economy
  • Underpowered base engine
  • Antiquated navigation system is difficult to use

The 2012 Volvo XC90 is certainly a nice car, offering quiet and smooth rides on the highway. The quality interior and exterior finish, and respectable cargo space are among the key features that draw the attention of people looking for luxury midsize SUVs.

Competition will come from the Land Rover LR2 (MSRP $35,700; 15 city / 22 hwy), the Volkswagen Touareg (MSRP $43,425; 17 city / 23 hwy), and the Acura MDX (MSRP $43,280; 16 city / 21 hwy).

Overall Rating
72 out of 100

What others say:

“Upscale and stylish interior; supportive front seats; practical packaging and features; optional all-wheel drive; smooth ride…Third-row seating cuts into second-row room; underwhelming power; antiquated navigation system is difficult to use.” Edmunds

“The 2012 Volvo XC90 does its family-hauling duties with aplomb but drivers who yearn for something a little sporty best look elsewhere.” Car Connection

“Unfortunately, XC90 handles more like a large, truck-type wagon than a crossover. Lifeless steering and marked body lean are problematic, and this Volvo is susceptible to highway-speed crosswind wander. The brakes don’t inspire confidence, owing to non-linear stopping and vague pedal feel.” Consumer Guide

“The 2012 Volvo XC90 delivers good on-road performance, wringing the most out of its 6-cylinder engine. Volvo pegs XC90’s 0-60 mph time at 8.7 seconds. That isn’t sports-car fast, but neither is it SUV laggardly.” KBB